Having been unable to hold an Annual General Meeting in either 2020 or 2021 due to the restrictions that were in place at the time, we are pleased that 2022's AGM was able to go ahead as planned on 15 September.
Following a minute's silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, outgoing president Dermot Winters spoke passionately about the history of the Society, and how it's founding mission remains relevant to this day – arguably more-so.
The Society owes a huge debt of gratitude to Dermot. Having been elected for a single year term, the inability to hold AGMs, and resulting inability to elect new officers, meant that he has had to continue in the role for three times as long as he expected. This he has done tirelessly and graciously without ever losing his characteristic good humour and professionalism. The Society cannot thank him enough!
Also deserving of effusive thanks is Nicola Neilson, who chose not to stand for re-election to her long-held seat on Council. Nicola has been involved with TVLS for over two decades, serving as Council Member, Vice President and President during that time, as well as being the logisitcal genius behind so many successful and memorable Annual Dinners. The contributions of time, energy and expertise that Nicola has given so generously to the Society, and to lawyers in the region, are beyond measure. The Society hugely appreciates all that Nicola has done on its behalf, and wishes her the most outrageous succes in all of her future endeavours.
Following Dermot's speech, Members proceeded to elect new officers and Council Members.
Melanie Morely, partner at BHP Law, was elected President of the Society. Melanie is looking to use her Presidency platform to promote legal diversity and social inclusion and to bridge the gap between the legal profession and education establishments, to assist in filling the wide skills gaps.
Supporting Mel will be Gemma Holmes of EMG Solicitors, who was elected Senior Vice President, and Daniel Tumilty of Jacksons, who was elected Junior Vice President. Michelle Coulson and Chris Noon were re-elected to Council, and we also welcome new Council Members Helen Daly and Phil Masters.